Joint Media Release with Member for Durack Melissa Price MP
The Coalition Government has started rolling out Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid training, with frontline workers in Durack, Western Australia, the first to benefit.
The first of six training workshops to be held in Durack gets under-way today in Meekatharra. Over time, the training will be rolled out to more than 1500 frontline workers in more than 60 remote locations across Australia.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the roll out of Indigenous Mental Health First Aid training was part of a suite of decisive actions the Government had taken to address the mental health issues that exist within many Indigenous communities.
“The workshops will focus on training frontline workers and the broader community about how to recognise early signs of mental health issues, provide support and encourage professional help,” Minister Scullion said.
Member for Durack, Melissa Price, said she was pleased six of the first 12 training workshops would train 102 frontline workers in her electorate.
“There is an urgent need for frontline staff who work in remote communities in my electorate to receive this training – given the very high rates of suicide in indigenous communities.” Ms Price said.
“The first three-day training starts today with 13 frontline staff from the Coalition Government’s Remote School Attendance Strategy and Community Development Programme in Meekatharra set to benefit.
“These frontline staff are in contact with people in their community on a daily basis and the training will help them to identify the early warning signs of mental health issues and give them knowledge about the most appropriate response for vulnerable families and children.
“Over the course of the rollout, this training will reach a total of 174 frontline staff in Western Australia.”
First Australians are more than twice as likely to be hospitalised for mental health-related conditions as non-Indigenous Australians. In addition, suicide rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are twice as high.
Recent suicide initiatives supported by the Coalition Government include the Critical Response Project to address suicide-related trauma in Western Australia and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project.
Locations and dates of the first 12 Mental Health First Aid Training courses
- Meekatharra, WA 18-20 October 2016
- Wiluna, WA 25-27 October
- Coober Pedy, SA 25-27 October
- Ntaria, NT 25-27 October
- Ampilatwatja, NT 26-28 October
- Millingimbi, NT 31 Oct-2 November, 16-18 November and 21-23 November
- Roebourne, WA 31 October– 2 November and 7-9 November
- Derby, WA 8-10 November and 15-17 November
- Kalumburu, WA 15-17 November
- Numbulwar, NT 16-18 November and 21-23 November
- Halls Creek, WA 29 November -1 December and 5-7 December
- Ramingining, NT 7-9 December and 12-14 December